Monday, March 16, 2009

This Bud's For You

Although the A's plan for a new park in Freemont, CA is apparently dead, Bud Selig's unannounced master plan, the "extortion tour" to get a new park for almost every major league team during his tenure continues. With more than $6 Billion tax dollars spent. Is this a "Baseball Bailout?"

MLB website
"Under his leadership as Executive Council Chairman and Commissioner, new stadiums have opened in Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Texas and Washington, D.C. .... Two new ballparks will open in New York City in 2009, an open-air stadium will open in Minnesota as the home of the Twins in 2010 and other clubs have new ballpark plans in development."

Financing info here

That's 20. "Other clubs?" 10 to go.

21. Well, maybe not LA. They have a cult about it being perfect just the way it is. And annual upgrades to Dodger Stadium have been completed in each of the last few years. Anaheim had their renovation in 1998, installing the rockpile, the only renovation to remove seats.

22. Boston seems set. Fenway has had $100 M invested in it.

23. Wrigley will probably get the same treatment once they work out their ownership issues.

24. Kansas City is spending @250 M on renovations. I guess they're off the hook.

25. Toronto - This is interesting, are Canadians foolish enough to fall for this line? Opened in 1989.

26. Chicago White Sox. Insurance park opened in 1991 and it seemed ready to replace on the first day. You could fit the old park entirely inside the new one. But no plans yet ...

27. Baltimore isn't in the Selig hit list, yet, and was the first of the new parks that was actually pretty nice. But it opened in 1992, that's 17 years now ...

28. Miami
August 16, 2007
On the Florida Marlins' plans for a new ballpark, Selig said: "We need to make progress there. This team needs a new stadium. I've said many times I like South Florida. I think it's a major league market. But it's a major league market only if they get a new ballpark".

Two votes are coming up: March 19 and 23.

29. Tampa
June 17, 2008
Tampa Bay has been the league's success story in the first half, but it has not translated to better attendance. What is your level of concern for the future of baseball in Tampa?
"Look, they're really pushing on a new ballpark. I think if they can get it done, it will really help them, no question about it. They've got a good club. They've done a great job scouting and drafting. Their attendance is up 4,500, but it's not enough. They can't make it in that ballpark. Have you been there?"
Many times.
"Do I need to tell you any more than that? And so, they need a new stadium. The demographics of the Tampa-St. Pete area are good enough for baseball."
On the St. Pete side, though?

"Well, they're going to have to make that judgment. If they can get rights … I know there are people who think it needs to be on the Tampa side, but I'm going to leave that to (principal owner) Stu Sternberg. If they can get a new ballpark built, yes, I think they can be a very successful franchise."

30. And, of course, Oakland
January 14, 2009
"I cannot stress enough that the need for the A's to have a viable and modern stadium is a paramount objective for your organization and for the game overall," Selig wrote.

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